Carper Statement on Iran Sanctions Bill

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) released the following statement on his vote against a procedural measure moving forward legislation to impose sanctions on Iran.

“This morning, we learned that ISIS, a savage terrorist group and sworn enemy of the United States, launched attacks in Iran that claimed the lives of at least 12 people. A few hours later, the Senate moved forward on legislation to impose sanctions on the country. I believe that sanctions are needed, but our timing is wrong. I encourage my colleagues to contemplate how we’d react if the shoe were on the other foot. I’ve said many times I try my best to honor the Golden Rule in not only my personal life, but also in my role as a United States Senator. We have not done that today.

“There is no question that the Iranian government must change its behavior. Iran’s continued testing of ballistic missiles harms security in the region, and we are deeply troubled by the hardline factions that continue to hold power and influence there. However, we cannot and should not ignore the fact that Iran came to the negotiating table and signed a historic nuclear agreement that even the Trump Administration has said they have so far upheld. Moreover, just a few weeks ago, overwhelming numbers of Iranians took to the polls to reelect President Hassan Rouhani, a moderating force in the country, and sent other moderate candidates to municipal offices in many cities. We in Congress would be foolish not to recognize and embrace these developments, and the timing of this vote today sends the wrong message.  

“While I’m encouraged that the sanctions legislation now being considered by the Senate is much improved from its original version, I’m unhappy we have made no movement on efforts to impose sanctions on Russia for their ongoing efforts to have influence in our country. It is my sincere hope that we would not vote again on an Iran sanctions bill until we have the opportunity to simultaneously impose Russian sanctions.”